Ella Fitzgerald – Ella for Lovers {Verve} “Russian Print”


Review by Tim Sendra ~allmusic.com
This 16-track collection features Ella Fitzgerald in a variety of musical settings singing romantic songs of love. The disc covers the years 1950 to 1961 with songs taken from the Verve and Decca archives. Four songs are culled from Intimate Ella, which has pianist Paul Smith as her sole accompanist. For the six songs from Pure Ella, she is backed by the wonderful pianist Ellis Larkins. A lovely take from this session on the Gershwin brothers “I’ve Got a Crush on You” is a highlight of the compilation. Two tracks are lifted from the gently swinging Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! with backing by a small combo. Three songs are extracted from Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers and Hart Songbook; two with small-combo backing including Paul Smith on piano, one, the haunting “Wait Till You See Her,” with Barney Kessel providing guitar. The disc closes out with a song taken from Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book. “Russian Lullaby” is a spare track with Fitzgerald’s majestic vocals supported by viola and harp. Fitzgerald sounds marvelous throughout, she could sing your phone bill and make it sound like a heavenly choir, and the song selection is top notch. There are a lot of Ella Fitzgerald collections available, this is a solid if not essential addition to them and also a nice disc for a romantic evening.

Tracklist:
01. I Got a Guy (3:46)
02. I Hadn’t Anyone Till You (2:51)
03. Please Be Kind (3:36)
04. How Long has This Been Going On? (3:16)
05. With a Song in My Heart (2:47)
06. Baby, What Else can I Do? (3:50)
07. I’ve Got a Crush on You (3:16)
08. My Melancholy Baby (2:59)
09. Wait Till You See Her (1:32)
10. You’re My Thrill (3:39)
11. Misty (2:55)
12. What is There to Say? (3:23)
13. Bewitched (7:05)
14. I’m Getting Sentimental Over You (2:38)
15. Imagination (2:37)
16. Russian Lullaby (1:52)

Personnel:
Ella Fitzgerald – vocals
Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel – guitar
Ellis Larkins, Lou Levy, Paul Smith – piano
Gus Johnson , Stan Levey, Alvin Stoller – drums
Wilfred Middlebrooks, Joe Mondragon – bass

Recorded at: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; New York, NY;
Nola Recording Studio, New York, NY; Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA;
United Recorders, Hollywood, CA.; between 1950 – 1961.
Compilation producer: Bryan Koniarz.

Genre: Jazz
Style: Vocal Jazz, Standards
Label: Verve (Russian Print)
Year: 2003
Time: 52:01

Quality-1: flac (tracks, eac, cue, log) + full scans
Quality-2: mp3@320 + full scans

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Ella Fitzgerald with Joe Pass – Speak Love {Pablo}


Review by Matthew G. Sherwin (amazon.com)

Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass will always remain the ultimate example of an accomplished, very special chanteuse and guitarist performing together, never giving us anything less than their very best. This CD is just one of three or four albums that Ella and Joe made together; and we get the rewards for all their hard work!

The CD track set begins with “Speak Low.” What a ballad! Ella’s voice is rich, warm and vibrant despite the fact that this set was recorded late in her career. Ella sings passionately and uses the full range of her voice to deliver “Speak Low” to perfection. Joe Pass plays the guitar well. It amazes me to hear just how much magic Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass could weave with just her voice and his solo guitar arrangement.

“Comes Love” follows “Speak Low.” “Comes Love” sports a romantic melody; and Ella’s treatment of the lyrics leaves you wanting for nothing! Ella plays with the tempo of her vocals as well; and this bolsters “Comes Love.” “I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful)!” lets Ella interpret a classic, well known love ballad–and her rendition shines like gold. Ella’s vocals are placed squarely in front of the musical arrangement; and she scats really nicely, too. When Joe does get his guitar solo in the middle of “I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful),” he more than compensates for his staying in the background while Ella sings!

“At Last,” a ballad made so famous by the great Etta James, really shines as Ella sings this soulfully, slowly and passionately. Ella sings her heart out for “At Last!” Awesome! Ella scats just a little; Ella performs most of “At Last” as a ballad made all the more beautiful by the simplicity of the lyrics. “Gone With The Wind” features Ella singing with energy while refraining from being unrealistically boisterous for this number. Joe’s simple but moving guitar arrangement adds a lot to “Gone With The Wind.” I love his guitar solo on “Gone With The Wind,” too! Ella scats a little bit near the end of this ballad and she even ends it with a slightly upbeat sound at the very end as if to remind you she didn’t lose her talents as a scatter. If you want to hear Ella doing some really fine scatting, give a listen to “Blue And Sentimental.”

The CD ends with “Georgia On My Mind.” Joe starts with a few notes on his guitar; and although Ella and Joe keep the usual tempo they inject it with their own personal touch. Ella scats somewhat and Joe plays a few extra spicy notes on his guitar. The overall effect provides the album with a particularly strong ending.

The liner notes have a very brief essay by Norman Granz; I would have liked a longer essay but this is a minor disappointment. The cover art work has a great picture of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass together.

Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass could turn out a set that would make even the very greatest artists green with envy. They never miss a beat on any of their flawless performances. I highly recommend this for fans of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass; and people who like classic pop vocals with a jazzy twist will like this CD, too.

Enjoy!

Tracks:
01 – Speak Low
02 – Comes Love
03 – There’s No You
04 – I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful)!
05 – At Last
06 – The Thrill is Gone (Medley)
07 – Gone with the Wind
08 – Blue and Sentimental
09 – Girl Talk
10 – Georgia on My Mind

Personnel:
Ella Fitzgerald – vocals
Joe Pass – guitar

Recorded in Hollywood, CA; March 21 & 22, 1983.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Ella Fitzgerald and Andre Previn – Nice Work If You Can Get It {Pablo} “Japan”


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Ella Fitzgerald, who in the late ’50s recorded the very extensive George and Ira Gershwin Songbook, revisits their music on this duet outing with pianist André Previn. Her voice was past her prime by this point, but she was able to bring out a lot of the beauty in the ten songs, giving the classic melodies and lyrics tasteful and lightly swinging treatment. Nice Work If You Can Get It is not an essential CD but is a reasonably enjoyable outing.

Tracks:
01 – A Foggy Day
02 – Nice Work If You Can Get It
03 – But Not for Me
04 – Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off
05 – How Long Has This Been Going On?
06 – Who Cares?
07 – Medley: I’ve Got a Crush on You / Someone to Watch Over Me / Embraceable You
08 – They Can’t Take That Away from Me

Personnel:
Ella Fitzgerald – vocals
Andre Previn – piano
Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen – bass

Recorded on May 23, 1983.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork